San Diego County Property Owners Approve New Fee To Address West Nile Virus
San Diego County property owners have approved a mail-in ballot measure for a new vector-control fee that is expected to generate $7.3 million annually to help address West Nile virus and other diseases carried by vectors, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
Jack Miller, chief of the Community Health Division of the county's Environmental Health Department, said about 217,000 of the more than 700,000 ballots mailed to county property owners in May were returned on time and counted. About 61.5 % of voters approved the measure, Miller said.
Because the fee will vary by size and type of property, ballots were weighed based on the size of the proposed fee.
New and existing fees for control of vectors -- rodents, insects and other disease-carrying animals -- will generate $9.5 million. The county plans to spend about $2.3 million on one-time costs, such as new vehicles; $3.7 million to purchase materials and to hire six permanent workers and 23 seasonal employees; $3 million to fight West Nile virus; and $500,000 for other diseases (Chacon, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7/14).